A monthly series in Vincentian Voices where we ask five random questions to an Eastern Province Priest or Brother. This month, we talk with Fr. Marvin Navas, CM, who serves in Southampton, Long Island, NY.

What was your favorite course or subject in school and why?

My favorite course in school was literature, especially poetry. It allows me to day-dream of the awesomeness and the beauty of creation. Some times a word or a sentence has so much meaning, not only for the writer, but for the audience. This is why I love the poetic language of the Old Testament, especially the wisdom literature and some of the prophets.

What animal is your ‘spirit animal’ or ‘favorite animal?’ Please explain.

I have never thought about ‘spirit or favorite animal.’ However, beside man’s best-friend, I would say that my favorite animal is a bull. We used to raise cattle, and they are so beautiful. When they are small, they are so gentle and friendly. However, when they grow up they command respect and admiration. They are so strong, but will always have a gentle spirit.

If you could ask Saint Vincent de Paul one question, what is the question and why?

In today’s world, if I could ask St. Vincent a question, a number of them come to mind: “signs of the time,” vocation, missions, etc. I am called to do the will of God and I need Divine Providence to show me the way and to fortify me in his mission. I think I will stay with this one: How do we allow the Divine Providence to guide us toward Jesus and his mission?

Besides connecting with family and friends, what do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, beside connecting with family and friends, I like to see nature: go for a long walk around a lake or bay and hike. I also like to read from a variety of literature subjects, history, psychology, and spirituality. It is a way to self-care. Many times, we neglect this free time; however, we need to recharge in order to continue with our health and mission.

If you could have dinner with one non-religious historical figure (dead or alive), who would it be and why? What might you ask them?

I would choose the President of El Salvador, my home-country. Bukele is a young politician who is changing El Salvador. He has been able to motivate other young people to enter into politics to serve. At this moment, there is a positive energy even though they are unmasking crime and corruption. I hope that justice will be done and end the cycle of corruption that has kept so many people in poverty. My questions to him would be: How is he living his father’s dreams? How to empower others to be agents of change? Where does he sees El Salvador in the future? What he would like to do after he finished his turn in office?

Give Me Five